Thank you for your interest in the Long Island Water Quality Challenge (LIWQC).
The LIWQC is a new STEM competition that raises awareness about Long Island’s vital water resources and what is the top threat to the region’s surface waters and groundwater: nitrogen pollution.
UPDATE (May 2020): LIRPC expresses its appreciation to the following schools – and the teachers and students – that participated in the inaugural STEM competition (2019-2020).
(1) Accompsett Middle School (Smithtown Central School District)
(2) Babylon Junior-Senior High School (Babylon Union Free School District)
(3) Cutchogue East Elementary School (Mattituck Cutchogue Union Free School District)
Thank you to the following people who reviewed the student project proposals and provided technical expertise:
(1) Susan Van Patten – New York State Department of Environmental Division
(2) Jacqueline Grennon Brooks, Ed.D. – Professor Emerita, Department of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership, Hofstra University
(3) Corey Humphrey – Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District
(4) David Ganim – Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District
(5) Elizabeth Cole – Long Island Regional Planning Council
(6) Kyle Rabin – Long Island Regional Planning Council
Please note that LIRPC plans to hold another STEM competition in the 2020 – 2021 school year so please look for an announcement in the fall of 2020.)
On this page, you’ll find information about this STEM competition as well as resources to help inform your project.
About the Challenge:
As part of the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP), the Long Island Water Quality Challenge promotes project-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in Long Island schools and helps students develop a greater understanding of how their classroom curriculum can be applied to protecting Long Island’s crucial water resources – with a specific focus on reducing or eliminating nitrogen pollution. This competition also connects students, teachers and their communities to the overall LINAP initiative.
Student teams will choose from one of two Water Quality Challenge categories that is feasible and meaningful to them and their community.
The two STEM Challenge project categories are:
(1) Low Input Landscaping
(2) Stormwater Treatment
The STEM competition is open to any NYS accredited educational institution on Long Island (in Nassau and Suffolk counties) that serves students in grades 6, 7 and 8.
The Long Island Water Quality Challenge is a great opportunity for schools to play a role in protecting local water resources while improving school grounds. On Long Island you are never far from surface waters (and ground water); that holds true for most schools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Stormwater runoff on school property can transport nitrogen pollution (along with other contaminants) through the watershed and into our coastal waterways. Excess nitrogen in surface waters can cause eutrophication (excess algae growth or “bloom”). Toxic algal blooms lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded wetlands and marine habitats. Excess nitrogen in ground water can result in drinking water high in nitrate (a form of nitrogen) which poses a threat to human health.
Format for the Project Proposals
We ask that participating teams use this recommended format for their STEM Challenge project proposals.
March 4, 2019
Letters of Interest Due:
May 17, 2019
Project Proposals Due:
February 6, 2020
Request For Expressions of Interest:
For details about submission requirements and how to submit a letter of interest, PLEASE SEE THE REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST.
Schools and their teams are encouraged to explore the following websites and resources for information on stormwater treatment and low input landscaping.